Sunday, 28 May 2017

Manchester - Campaigns Suspended (General Election 2017 - Week 6)

Such a waste of young life, we're all agreed, as the gallery of mainly young female youth looks out on us from our TV screens. Photos taken in happier times.  Immortalized in tragedy. We can hardly pin down our feelings - beyond raw disbelief and shock. Children and young people enjoying themselves at a pop concert, children who should be tucked up asleep now, or riding home with their parents, relaying the songs, the atmosphere, the joy at seeing their idol perform.  Young parents waiting for their children to hear all about the above, but mown down in their loving parental duty. Those of us over 50 may never have heard the name of the young female star - but we all know of her now.  We all know the face of the youngest child, brown-eyed, smiling gently at us from our TV screens - fresh, beautiful, a life barely begun...
We watch the news for developments, disbelieving it to be true, that here in Manchester, such an atrocity could unfold. We watch the spirit of Manchester rise in love, queuing to donate blood from their bodies to help the injured, people offering lifts backwards and forwards across the city and beyond through the night to bring home the stranded and frightened and confused, people offering their homes and flooding social media with kindness.  All nations and ethnic backgrounds coming together to lay flowers and pink helium balloons, heart-shaped. This is Manchester. A diverse city. We stand together.  We won't be cowed.  We won't be divided. The Moslem community rise to condemn, non-Moslems stand with them in solidarity.  An elderly Jewish woman and her Moslem friend walk the streets together, publicly condemning.

Political divisions and aggressive general election campaigning is laid aside. None of that matters, for today. For tomorrow. What matters is the spirit of Manchester.

But how quickly that those in supposed journalism show their true colours, wasting no time to find a cheap and obscene opportunity to score political points.  Did The Sun really think they could curry support from the sister city to Liverpool - where it has already been disgraced and banned for its vicious campaign against Liverpool fans at Hillsborough?

They wanted a cheap jibe at Jeremy Corbyn's approach to terrorism and his multi-pronged approach.  Peace is never achieved by war-war, it is achieved by jaw-jaw, and getting round the table.  How else did we reach the Good Friday agreement?  Two petitions were started to boycott The Sun but The Sun threatened the petition sites with legal action and so the sites were forced to remove the petitions. Never mind The Sun committing slander against Jeremy Corbyn. But Murdoch money talks - the Murdoch empire does as it pleases.

In a week where we have all been devastated by the wicked loss of life, we should all remember the spirit of Manchester.  That must be the legacy.  That even in the face of the unimaginable, good will shine through and win.

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